Learning from the past, shaping the future - new publications
Last year we completed an oral history project recording the growth of the UK’s city farming and community gardening movement.
This was the first time the development of this pioneering movement had been documented in this way and we are now pleased to publish a report summarising the projects and it's findings, as well as two postcard books commemorating our 30th anniversary.
You can read and download the report here: Learning from the past, shaping the future
You can view and order copies of the postcard books here: 30th anniversary postcard books
Booking Open For School Farms Conference
Growing Education is the theme of the 2013 School Farms Conference, which takes place on July 5-6, 2013 at Phoenix High School, Shepherds Bush, London W12 ORQ. The conference is aimed at policymakers, head teachers and heads of departments, plus existing and would-be practitioners, representatives of the farming and voluntary sector agencies.
The many varied workshops will include: fundraising, healthy eating, growing in small spaces, beekeeping and the value of school farms. Cost: One day is £90.00; two days is £150.00 (This includes all materials, meals and refreshments).
City Children Milk Opportunity For Rural Farmwork
Children from the heart of inner city London will swap the concrete jungle for the wilds of Cornwall in May when they experience the reality of rural farming at Duchy College, including milking a 300-strong herd of cows.
This unique collaboration will involve children from Phoenix High School, based in the White City estate in Shepherds Bush, one of the most deprived areas in the UK. The school was given the opportunity to send pupils to Duchy College after it developed a vegetable garden on a one acre plot on school grounds.
The garden was a huge hit with students and has since added animals, including chicken, rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as vegetable beds, fruit trees and greenhouses. Some of the produce from the plot is now used in school dinners and the mini-farm is used as a teaching aid across the curriculum.
After hearing about the Phoenix High School Farm, Duchy College, the UK’s biggest further education provider, invited students to visit and experience first-hand working life on a rural farm.
Green Space Research Confirms Positive Effect
Living in urban areas with more green spaces - including community-run sites such as gardens farms and orchards - can significantly improve mental health and well-being for local residents, according to a new study from the University of Exeter.
Data drawn from 10,000 people over 18 years showed that they showed significantly lower mental distress and significantly higher wellbeing during the times they were living in areas with access to local green spaces.
Researchers say the findings could help urban planners and have an impact on society at large. The study has now been published in the journal Psychological Science.
Guide For Landowners Published in Scotland
A new Guide aiming to encourage Scotland’s landowners to make more land available for community growing has been welcomed by Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, at an event at the Scottish Parliament.
The Guide For Landowners, produced by the Community Land Advisory Service (CLAS) in Scotland, provides comprehensive information and advice to help landowners play their part in the surge in community gardening and food growing across Scotland.
The publication is a response to recent evidence, including research conducted by Scotland’s Grow Your Own Working Group (GYOWG), which shows community groups can struggle to find land in order to expand and strengthen the capacity of their local community. Meanwhile, many landowners are keen to support such projects, but lack the knowledge of how to go about it, are worried about statutory responsibilities or find the process of lease negotiations too daunting.
The Guide has been created to provide key information on issues such as site suitability, leases, planning and land use and the law. It was written by CLAS in conjunction with the Grow Your Own Working Group, Scottish Land & Estates and The Scottish Government. CLAS is managed by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.
Community Land Advisory Service Launched In Wales
Communities in Wales wanting to grow food for climate and health benefits will get more land to cultivate, thanks to a new project funded by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG). The Community Land Advisory Service in Wales will help tackle the shortage of available land for community gardening using a £600,000 grant from BIG’s Climate Change Programme.
The cash will be used across Wales to deliver a five year project, providing specialist guidance and support to around 250 community food growing projects and 100 landowners. An estimated 5,000 people engaged in projects such as community gardens, farms, allotments and orchards will directly benefit, with health and better eating benefits going to around 50,000 people. The Service will aim to support the setting up of 75 new projects across Wales.
The Community Land Advisory Service (CLAS) is managed by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, which will recruit a team of three specialists to give hands on advice and support to both community groups and landowners, with further support from stakeholder and advisory groups. There will also be free online information and advice at http://wl.communitylandadvice.org.uk/
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